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Untying My Skates

April 5, 2010

This was a draft written the first week of March, that was never published until now.

Well, the season is now officially over. While I was sad to take off my ice blades and put them into storage for the next eight months, there was a sense of relief. I washed and packed the cold gear into the hamper and ushered in the capris and polos for spring. I have yet to remove my bike from the indoor trainer but I have been on my wheels and skating at the Metrodome. And soon I will be screaming for the Twins at Target Field.

While, it has been a successful season, first with the win of the Senior Women’s National Long Track Title and then following it up with my third Senior National Marathon title. Skating a personal best in the 25k and then actually finishing the 50k. I have decided that I will thus refrain from reflecting on the bad back, knee, achilles tendon or hip as I have concluded that those all come with age. In retrospect, it truly has been a season of good fortune and a good way to end my twelve years in the Senior ranks.

It has also been a season of good friends, both new and old. It has been a season where I found other speedskating bloggers and we got new readers. It was the season where I learned the definition of my best from the absolutely lovely Silvia Acevedo when my sprinting career I really thought was disastrous. A season where I still did not beat D, maybe next year but for Chantal a year that she got to hear, “National Champion from the Pioneer Speedskating Club.”

While the season started with unseasonably warm weather and the first few days skating were a bit odd as I had no long underwear on or a hat for that matter. It soon progressed to cold and then we got snow and lots of it. Erik and I made several trips to Bemdiji, the day long jaunts. However we spent a lot of time, when I spent my week vacation in Bemidji. It was there that realized why I had returned to speedskating and why Bemidji had meant so much to me. For one week it was just me and my foe, and me telling myself over and over again, that yes I could skate a 50k. I also got to learn how to drive an Olympia Ice Resurfacer/Zamboni and watched my husband (Erik) drive a bobcat.

I finished the 50k and cried some of the happiest tears that I had cried in the longest time. There was a sweet reward the hug from the other social racers and the reward of seeing a picture of me and Erik as he kept saying, “You did it!”

Addendum: Maybe I didn’t pack the skates away well enough. Maybe the wheels weren’t suppose to stay on. Because no where in my plans did I think I would take a detour off my wheels. When I heard Erik say, “Lisa, how badly do you want to skate again?” When I said, “I want to skate again.” He said, “Good, we will drive to Milwaukee and you can skate at the Petit when we head to Michigan.”

Now I am one who has never skated inside and I was speechless. For someone who is rarely at a loss for words. I was lost. I kept stammering. And to make the even better, I was the only one on the oval for the longest time. It was just me and the ice. So quiet and peaceful. And somehow I felt that I had closed out the season the way I wanted to. As I grabbed the camera, I snapped a picture of the finish line- while this year my race finishes were a range of emotions (elation, tears, pain, and fear), I concluded this was the finish line that I could say, “Kid, you’ve done well… Congratulations, you can untie those skates.”

So with all of that… Masters here I come- bad technique and all!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 11, 2010 7:05 pm

    I distinctly remember my first time skating LT indoors. I think I thought the same things. It was pristine, almost in an obscene way. There was something so wrong about the conditions, they were of course ones only dreamed about outdoors, yet there was something so right, no need for 10,000 layers (I can’ put my arms down). It was an anomaly and I was in love! Though I still can’t get used to it!


  1. April 10th 2010- Long Track Speed Skating News – Speed Skate World- By Peter Doucet- Online Since 1999

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